Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson collided with up-and-comer Ray Borg last night (Oct. 7, 2017) at UFC 216 from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This whole situation was somewhat symbolic of Johnson’s career. Looking to break a record and achieve continued excellence, but still not the main event of a not particularly high-profile event. Still, this was his attempt to score title defense number 11, a significant moment for “Mighty Mouse.”
Borg was in the underdog position that pretty much all of Johnson’s recent opponents have been. He wasn’t expected to pose much of a threat, but “The Taxmexican Devil” nevertheless walked into the cage intent on scoring the upset.
Johnson opened with beautiful range control, circling and landing hard low kicks. He began to step in with kicks the the body and plant crosses, one of which allowed him to circle and briefly take the back. Borg pressured and shot for takedowns, but nothing materialized opposite “Mighty Mouse.”
After a failed shot from Borg, Johnson took top position once more. He worked from half guard for a bit then advanced to side control, attaching the far arm and landing elbows.
Borg defended reasonably well, but he didn’t land a single strike in the first round.
The fight moved in the clinic early in the second. Johnson landed some clean knees, but Borg managed to power into the double leg and take the back standing. Unfortunately for the young gun, Johnson effortlessly slipped out and landed on top.
Johnson’s top game is pretty much perfect. Borg is a strong grappler, but Johnson maneuvered around his guard without much difficulty. All the while, he searched for the Kimora, landed shots, and attempted to take the back.
It was another strong round from the champion.
Once again, Johnson controlled range until his opponent took a bad shot and gave up top control. From there, “Mighty Mouse” continued to flow positionally, looking for ground strikes and submissions. Borg defended, but he wasn’t able do anything else.
Johnson was just too perfect.
Heading into the championship rounds, Borg needed to do something dramatic. He came out aggressively and landed a big double leg, but he just couldn’t keep “DJ” down. In fact, he gave up top position desperately trying to hold the champion on the mat. Borg actually managed to stand back up this time, but his respite was brief, as Johnson slammed him back down with authority.
With five minutes remaining, there was no doubt whose hand would be raised.
Borg came out with some aggression, so Johnson threw him on his ass. For the rest of the bout, it was a replay of previous rounds. Johnson controlled excellently and advanced position, and whenever Borg did manage to get to his feet, he was planted on the mat. Just as it seemed like Johnson was coast to a decision, he slammed Borg and jumped on an arm bar. Borg did his damnedest to resist the submission, but his arm was cranked until he gave in.
This is yet another display of dominance from “Mighty Mouse.” It’s another top contender utterly shutdown; Borg landed less than a dozen strikes, and most were insignificant.
For a five round fight, that’s absolutely insane.
More than that, Johnson out-wrestled and out-grappled the guy who has been winning fights on the mat. He’s simply so good everywhere, and his technical mastery is amplified by the fact that Johnson never gets remotely close to fatigue.
Johnson has an incredible claim as the best ever, and his 11th title defense doesn’t hurt that resumè.
As for Borg, he knows what it’s like to fight “Mighty Mouse.” For 12 weeks or however long his camp was, Borg trained specifically for Johnson and told himself that what happened to all of Johnson’s past opponents wouldn’t happen to him. He’d make it a fight. Things would be different.
That’s not an attempt to discredit Borg, a great fighter with obvious hurt. It’s just an uncomfortable fact that UFC Flyweights have to live with: “Mighty Mouse” is that good.
Last night, Johnson continued his dominant title reign with another arm bar victory. What’s next for the legendary champion?
For complete UFC 216 “Ferguson vs. Lee” results and play-by-play, click HERE!